Summary: Jesus shows us where to find heavenly happiness. 1. We find it through a meek heart (vs. 5). 2. We find it through a hungry heart (vs. 6). 3. We find it through a merciful heart (vs. 7).
Jesus Wants to Give Us Heavenly Happiness (Part 2)
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - Feb. 27, 2013
*A lot of people are watching "Duck Dynasty" these days. It was on the front page of the paper today. And it's my brother's favorite show, even though he lives halfway across the country! "Duck Dynasty" is a funny show, and one of the little things I like is the way daddy Phil Robertson describes happy people being happy. Phil says they're "happy, happy, happy."
*Church: God wants us to be "happy, happy, happy." He wants our lives to overflow with His heavenly happiness. And Jesus shows us how to get it in the opening verses of the Sermon on the Mount. This truth is easy for us to miss, because most of our English Bibles use the word "blessed" instead of "happy." But the original word simply means "happy."
*There is another word in the New Testament translated as "bless" or "blessed." It's a totally different word that is found 44 times in the New Testament. That other word "blessed" means to "speak well about" or "praise" someone. It's where we get our word "eulogy." And this is the word we are relating to when we "say the blessing."
*A good example of that other word "blessed" is in Matthew 21:9. There Jesus was riding into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, and "the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: 'Hosanna to the Son of David! "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!" Hosanna in the highest!'"
*Here in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus was talking about happiness, and He emphasized this heavenly happiness nine times in Matthew 5. Altogether, this Greek word is found 50 times in the New Testament. And it is translated as "blessed" 44 of those 50 times. But the other times it is translated as "happy" or "happier."
*For example, in John 13:16&17, Jesus told His disciples:
16. "Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.
17. If you know these things, happy are you if you do them."
*That "happy" is the same original word as "blessed" here in Matthew 5.
*Another example is in Acts 26:2, where Paul had been falsely imprisoned for two years, and now was on trial before King Agrippa. Paul opened his testimony by saying, "I think myself happy, King Agrippa, because today I shall answer for myself before you concerning all the things of which I am accused by the Jews."
*Again, it's the same original word as "blessed" here in Matthew 5.
*One more example is 1 Timothy 1:11, where Paul mentioned "the glorious gospel of the blessed God." That word "blessed" means "happy" too. It reminds us that although God's wrath is real, we have a happy God! And He wants His people to be happy too.
1. Jesus shows us where to find heavenly happiness. First, we find it through a meek heart.
*This the Lord's message to us in vs. 5, where Jesus said: "Blessed (or happy) are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."
*Now, We must understand that this "meek" doesn't mean "weak." Melvin Newland explained that "most people seem to think that meek means weak, a spineless person without any backbone at all. But in the original language, 'meek' was used in taming a wild animal." (1)
*David Parks said that "meekness" was also used for "a powerful horse under the control of its master." (2)
*So the word "meek" is a picture of power under control. Our pride often gets in the way of Biblical meekness. That's why meekness tends to be rare and unpopular. But meekness toward other people is the ability to stay calm and unruffled in the face of being provoked.
*William Barclay explained it this way: "Meekness is the quality of the man whose anger is so controlled that he is always angry at the right time and never angry at the wrong time. It describes the man who is never angry at any personal wrong he may receive. But who is capable of righteous anger when he sees others wronged." (3)
*Meekness is not weakness. It is our emotion under God's control. David Parks gave this good comparison between weakness and meekness:
-"Weakness turns its back on sinners.
-Meekness restores them.
-Weakness brings disunity.
-Meekness brings unity.
-Weakness returns the abuse.
-Meekness takes the abuse.
-"Meekness is the strength to back down from a fight you know you could win." (2)
*Doesn't that all sound like Jesus? Christians: Our meekness is always a reflection of His meekness. So meekness isn't just about our relationships with other people. Mostly it's about our relationship with God. And Biblical meekness is evidence that we have a relationship with God. Being meek means being humble toward God and having a teachable spirit, willing to be led by God.